Jeff Kent came up empty in his 10th and final appearance on the writers’ ballot for entry into the Baseball Hall of Fame and isn’t happy about it.
The 2000 National League MVP for the San Francisco Giants received 46.5 percent of the vote on Tuesday from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, well short of the 75 percent necessary to earn enshrinement.
Kent, a five-time All-Star, took aim at the process, including people who don’t cast a ballot.
“The voting over the years has been too much of a head-scratching embarrassment,” the 54-year-old Kent told the San Francisco Chronicle via text. “Baseball is losing a couple generations of great players that were the best in their era because a couple non-voting stat folks keep comparing those players to players already voted in from generations past and are influencing the votes. It’s unfair to the best players in their own era and those already voted in, in my opinion.
“Steroids clouded the whole system, too, and with the reduction of eligibility years, to clear the ballot deck, I got caught up in it all, I guess.”
Kent’s next opportunity to be considered for the Hall of Fame will come when the Contemporary Era Players Committee meets in the fall of 2025.
Kent, who was primarily a second baseman, batted .290 with 377 homers, 560 doubles and 1,518 RBIs over 16 seasons with six teams. He played hard but also was someone who rubbed people the wrong way, including baseball writers.
Third baseman Scott Rolen received 76.3 percent of the vote and was the only player to be voted in on Tuesday. He will be inducted at Cooperstown, N.Y., in July along with Fred McGriff, who was elected by the Contemporary committee.